Not having reached the stellar stardom of Steven King or others topping the NYT Best Sellers Lists, my 'guest appearances' were memorable (though, not always for the the right reasons). Book signings in chain and small book stores, and booths--in my case the boots were at Powwows and Rodeos were the norm.
This brand of market included lots of toting and driving! Fortunately, I was able to dress in trade cloth dresses and high-top beaded moccasins or western wear and riding boots. Often my Regency writing friends fussed with flounce, bustles, and complicated footwear to help promo their genre fiction.
However, this type of marketing was hit-and-miss and cut deeply into my writing and family time. Since I also freelanced, writing for magazines, ghosting literary fiction, and working, part-time, as an acquisitions editor for an independent Christian publisher, I wasn't even toying with the idea of financing my personal city-by-city book tour.
Even though I still act as a contest judge in numerous national and international writing contests, belong to professional writing associations, and am acting President of a Special Interest (GothRom) Chapter of Romance Writers of America, I believe social media and the Internet are wonderful ways to promote both print and eBooks.
I tweet, I keep a personal and author Facebook page, Google+ and an author website (which I revamp yearly). I also actively blog and guest blog--now.
- Blogging keeps me motivated and aware of what is going on in the writing world. view it as Professional Development. It is where I put into practice all information I mentally uploaded from online classes I've attended, or articles I've read.
- Accountability for my writing time. Like most writers today, I have a day job. Blogging helps me keep my writing time sacred. There are days I don't have time to write, but knowing I am breaking one of my personal 'rules' keeps me a accountable.
- M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G. I still think book signings are great fun. I always, always enjoy speaking to children and YA readers at library and book store functions. I just don't wish to spend every single weekend out on the road promoting my novels.
- And, as all writers know, the only way to sharpen prose is to write. Often. Being forced to write articles and/or blog on a regular basis has helped me to improve my prose in often small, yet meaningful ways.
- Networking and Connections. Blogging on my personal site, "Word Slinger" and guest blogging on other sites, including here at BWL author site, helps me make new friends, interact with my readers, and to learn and grow--as a writer and person.